(This one is for fellow artist and nature lover, Bridgette.)
In May of this year I, along with 14 or so others, finished our initial Master Naturalist training. During the two months of classes we learned about plants, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, geology, ecology . . . . but the class that has really stuck with me is fungus. Yes, we had a three hour session on fungus, and it was awesome. It turns out that mycorrhizal fungus is running the world, secretly, underground, everywhere. It blew my mind, like thinking about space or the deep ocean or death. I won't go too deep here for fear of misrepresenting facts that should really be learned from an expert or book or at the very least, Wikipedia but know that fungus is smart. Fungus has been here for a long time. Fungus is what allows tons of things to grow (and COMMUNICATE). It's an organism joining us all together and getting little credit in the process. Even NASA studies it: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6241
I say all of that to help you understand what I'm up to. Fungus leaves beautiful patterns in their wake. Whole networks living under tree bark and leaf litter. In crossing borders, we make beautiful connections. What better way to represent that through an organism that has been connecting us all along? The roads that join us are messy, seemingly chaotic, but they bring to life truly amazing relationships that transcend our years on this Earth.
I'll leave you with the thought that Naturalist, Tovi Lehman, left us: we are really lucky that the fungus of the world aren't paying attention to us, because we wouldn't stand a chance.